U.S. Joint Fire Science Program


Date of this Version


Document Type



Fire Science Brief, Issue 43, February 2009


US government work.


That risk from wildfi re continues to grow across the United States is not a new problem. Managing forest fuels in the real world—such as thinning and burning prescriptively—to reduce fuel loads have been used effectively to reduce the risk of severe wildfi re. These actions have been helped by a variety of software tools that assist managers in planning and evaluating fuel treatments to ensure they are cost effective in terms of impeding the growth of future large, severe wildfires. While many landscape planning tools do a fine job within the scope of their capabilities, the process of fi ne tuning fuel management plans requires that users interact with large cumbersome databases and complex wildfire behavior models. The streamlined approach for modeling wildfire and planning fuel treatments on large landscapes developed in this study integrates fire behavior modeling and data processing tasks into a framework. This framework provides rapid assessment of wildfi re risk and the potential effects of fuel management activities. The total picture of a particular scenario includes not only the predicted change in fire behavior, but also the change in likelihood of a fire, and resulting change in specific highly valued resources. Read further to learn about ArcFuels.